Student loans are polarising, to say the least. On the good side of things, they provide you with an opportunity to study, which can’t be understated. For your entire time studying, you’ll likely not be expected to pay much, if any, of your student loan back. However, once that degree is over, and you’re earning a certain salary, you’re going to be expected to pay up.
What Do I Need To Pay Back For My Student Loan?
When paying back your student loan, you will need to pay back any tuition fee loans, maintenance loans and, if relevant, your postgraduate loans.
It is not necessary to pay back grants and bursaries.
Even if you have left your course early, you will still need to repay your student loan. So, it’s probably best that you try and finish your degree because the last thing you want is all that debt hanging over your head for something you didn’t even finish.
How Can I Repay My Student Loan?
You can repay your student loan through your online repayment account with student finance. Here, you can arrange whether you will be making the payments via bank transfer, card or cheque.
If you live in the UK and have a UK salary, your repayments will be taken out of your salary directly, at the same time as tax and National Insurance. It’s like being robbed, but you expect it, and it’s justified, so it doesn’t sting as much. It still sucks, though, to be totally honest.
Looking at your payslip or P60 will help you check how much has been deducted. This can give you an insight into how much of your salary is going towards repaying your loan.
When Do I Start Repaying My Student Loan?
You will start to repay your student loan as soon as your income is higher than the government threshold. This value changes each year on April 6th.
Once you start earning this amount, you will be liable to begin repaying. This can be done automatically through your employer or directly through student finance.
The earliest you will start repaying your loan is the April after you leave your course. However, you can also opt to make extra payments to pay off some or all of your loan early.
Repayments will stop automatically if you stop working or if your income falls below the threshold. That’s one of the few saving graces about student loans in the UK is that they have exceptions which ensure you don’t find yourself financially drowning when things get rough.
How Do I Repay My Student Loan If I'm Self-Employed?
The HMRC (HM Revenue and Customs) will determine how much you need to repay by looking at your tax return. You will make the payment at the same time as paying your tax.
Once you know how much you owe, you can then make a plan to pay the balance.
Do I Need To Repay My Student Loan If I Leave The Uk?
If you leave the UK for three months or more, you will need to inform the Student Loans Company (SLC). They will then work out if you need to repay your loan while you’re abroad and how much.
If the SLC does decide that you need to repay your loans while you are abroad, they will let you know how much you need to pay monthly. You can make these repayments either through your online account or by International Bank Transfer (IBAN).
Through your online account, you can set up a direct debit or a recurring card payment with an international debit card.
If you decide to transfer money from a non-UK bank account, you will need the SLC IBAN and SWIFT numbers and use your customer reference number as a reference for the payment. It sounds complicated, but it’s all relatively straightforward.
How Much Student Loan Do I Owe?
If you’re looking to torture yourself and look at a number you’re not going to be able to make significant progress on any time soon, then you’ve got options. You can check your repayment status at any time from your annual SLC statements or via your online SLC account. There you will be able to see how much you owe overall as well as how much you have already paid back.
The amount that you need to pay back will depend on your repayment plan - this information will also be on your online SLC account. This will depend on the year in which you started your studies, the length of your course and the type of course.
Whilst a student loan is helpful when at university, you will have to start repaying it once you are employed and earning over a certain threshold. By being informed about the repayment threshold and setting up your account online, you can ensure that you repay the loan in a timely manner.
As long as you’re making your repayments every month, this isn’t something you should be stressing about. While paying off your student loan faster is great, this is a type of debt that can take a while to achieve full repayment. This is a far more controlled debt than other types of debt out there so don’t panic too much about paying it back quickly.